Advantage: Consortium reports fewer shop closures than rivals

Advantage: Consortium reports fewer shop closures than rivals

Advantage has lost only 9% of its high-street agencies since 2005 compared to double-digit losses of rival consortia.

Statistics from BP Marketing Services, released at the Advantage conference, showed a 24% overall reduction in the number of high-street agents from 8,000 to 6,000 since 2005.

Within this, Advantage has 9% fewer shops, Global Travel Group 54% fewer, and Worldchoice 42%.

Advantage chief executive John McEwan said: “I think this [difference] is because we have the strongest proposition for independent agents. We enjoy the best in class commercial terms.”

Over the past year the consortium has added 80 new agency locations –branches – and lost 20 to 30 because of agents retiring or winding down their businesses.

McEwan believes the consortium will continue to grow at a similar rate. “There are still some [companies] out there that are we are in dialogue. We are trying to identify groups that are not in a consortium; there are not many left,” he added.

The consortium has also enjoyed an increase in turnover of £500 million in the last 12 months to £3.5 billion across the entire business. Of this, £2.5 billion comes from leisure sales and £1 billion from corporate sales.

McEwan added: “Our turnover is larger than that of Tui and Thomas Cook’s retail businesses. We are the largest retail travel agency group in the UK by far and we are owned completely by our members, they are shareholders in our business.”

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